Weekly top 5: Will the .500 Rule claim any victims?
It’s time to take a little bit deeper look into what is going on in college golf. This week’s top 5:
Men’s teams have adjusted well since the .500 Rule was put into play several years ago. For coaches, it’s simply a matter of putting a little more thought into your competition schedule. But there are some things coaches just can’t control, and that leads me to this question: Is that pesky .500 Rule going to claim any victims this year? Postseason begins in not quite two months, and there are eight teams inside the top 80 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings that have a less than .500 head-to-head winning percentage: Iowa (51), Indiana (55), Augusta State (59), Kennesaw State (60), UC Davis (62), San Diego State (63), Alabama-Birmingham (70) and East Tennessee State (74).
Speaking of the .500 Rule, the women’s game is certainly going to have a few changes in the next few years. When the NCAA finals are televised for the first time in 2015, match play likely will have found a spot in the championship format. But what about the .500 Rule? A Golfweek poll conducted this summer revealed that Division I women’s coaches are in favor of the guideline by a 113-88 count. If the women had the .500 Rule in play, there would be 10 teams in the top 60 that had a head-to-head winning percentage that is less than .500.
One of the most ridiculous stats in college golf this season is this: Top-ranked California claims five players inside the top 37 in Golfweek’s rankings. Yes, that means all five players are legitimate All-America candidates. RIDICULOUS! This helps explain why the Golden Bears recently won the Fresno State Lexus Classic by 37 shots. The Fresno State event is a play-six-count-five format. It’s probably not a good idea to play California in a format where five scores will count.
North Carolina State’s Albin Choi made more headlines March 5 with a victory this past week at the USF Invitational. Choi is now ranked No. 10 in the Golfweek/Sagarin individual rankings and is a strong candidate for player of the year honors. The junior from Toronto has now won three consecutive events and is two-for-two this spring.
On the women’s side, Stanford has come out of the gates quickly this spring. The Cardinal, under the direction of first-year head coach Anne Walker, have won three times – most recently at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invite hosted by San Jose State. Stanford has been led by freshman Mariah Stackhouse, who has won two of three events this spring individually.